KS THE MAN WHO SMILED TOO MUCH, is a project by Pasquale Polidori inspired by the charm of Kurt Schwitters’ smiling face in Genia Joans’ photograph from 1926 – an expression of a personality in contrast with the intellectual exaltation of the avant-garde. Organised at the MACRO Museum (Rome) in 2019 through a series of workshops and events, in collaboration with a number of artists, theorists and curator, it has now become an online project and archive. “Schwitters – writes Polidori – provides us with a model of subjectivity based on openness towards the unexpected, that is a willingness to deviate from established routes and trust in a possible re-composition of banality and daily (as well as historical) disasters, as a function of poetic action, aimed both at turning materiality into forms of expression and at making reality a place of rhythmic and wide-ranging interaction between meaning and no-meaning.” Four workshops have been organised, one each week, to analyse several documents related to Schwitters (workshop 1), to explore the theme of art history as a sentimental and fetishistic relationship with artists and their works (workshop 2) and the melancholy arising from the impossibility of it being fulfilled. Finally, the last workshop focuses on the promise of linguistic regeneration. Each of these events focused on work and research was interspersed with Conversations discussing the results and consolidating the foundations for the next workshop. The project ended with a lecture-concert KS The Man Who Smiled Too Much with a piano interpretation by Steve Natterstad, who performed in a continuous dialogue which could relate the music with what had emerged from the project. Tianyi Xu has created a sculpture of movements and actions on the scene. A choir, consisting of Luigi Battisti, Simone Compagno, Claudia Melica and Jacopo Natoli, interacts with the narrative, and a book to accompany the event with an introduction by Francesca Gallo. Now all this is collected in a project site and can be visited from the comfort of your own home, consulting the entire documentation of all the events.
images (1-2-4-5): P. Polidori, Macroasilo, Rome, foto Enrico Colantoni (3) Steve Natterstad at the piano, concert-lecture within KS. The Man who smiled too much,curated by Pasquale Polidori, MACRO Museum, Rome, May 2019.